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Communities oppose proposed changes to Racial Discrimination Act

Various ethnic communities in Australia have opposed to the proposed changes to the section 18C & 18D. The communities have expressed number of concerns through various state and federal MP’s. The proposed changes have caused a lot of anguish and concern among wide range of multicultural communities in Australia. In a statement issued by the secretary Mr Bawa Singh Jagdev of National Sikh council of Australia condemned the changes to Federal Racial Discrimination Act 1975. Sikh community is very much concerned about the proposed changes and has written to a number of MP’s; he said. The NSW and Victorian Governments in a joint statement have also announced that they have lodged formal submissions opposing changes to the protections against racial vilification contained in the Federal Racial Discrimination Act 1975. NSW Minister for Citizenship and Communities Victor Dominello and Victorian Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship Matthew Guy said: “We consider it vital that the Commonwealth does not weaken protections in place against racial vilification. “The proposed changes threaten the social cohesion and well-being of not just our states’ culturally and religiously diverse communities, but also the wider Australian community. “We support the protections currently in place under the Federal Racial Discrimination Act and emphasise the practical and symbolic importance of these protections – particularly for our Aboriginal, multicultural and multi-faith communities. “Successive NSW and Victorian Governments have worked hard to foster socially inclusive and cohesive communities. “This is the basis for the Victorian Equal Opportunity Act 2010 and Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001 and the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act 1977.

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